Egyptian Drivers

I’d said earlier that Egypt is like India, including the fact that the traffic is unruly. Well yes, it is, but no, it’s not like India, and especially not like Kolkata.

We were at Kolkata just after we were at Egypt, and we were back to the familiar unruly traffic that is so typically Kolkata. And yet, there was a big difference from Egypt.

In Kolkata, the unruliness is based on skill, where the drivers are aware exactly of how much space is available, how fast other vehicles are moving, and how much time he has to squeeze through a space before the next car rams into him. That’s skill, honed over years of driving and sharpening the judgement bits of the brain.

Not so in Egypt. There, you just go, and trust that the others are watching you as you go and will not ram into you. Often, cars changing lanes just start moving into the next lane, without the slightest idea that another vehicle is moving just behind. A few seconds of blaring horns later, he’s jolted into realization. At an intersection, a car simply starts going on the wrong side of the road, simply because there’s a traffic jam, even though someone on the other side can just ram into him. The list is endless. There is a lot less skill, and a lot more recklessness, in driving in Egypt. No looking, no judging, just hitting the accelerator and going.

Sorry, Egypt is not like India in this respect. We’re far better drivers.

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